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Newbie - What Bike to Get? <$1,200

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Newbie - What Bike to Get? <$1,200

Old 10-04-17, 10:23 PM
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Newbie - What Bike to Get? <$1,200

Hello all!

I am a 5'2'' female looking for a road bike. I hope I am posting in the right forum--Not sure if I should be posting in "Commuting."

I am planning to get more into cycling in general, and even more so, possibly start commuting to work. I live in Southern California, the area that I live in has SOME hills, mainly the road--ok conditions, not super super steep but I will need enough torque to get up them (not super duper fit).

The distance to and from work would be 6.3 miles each way (totaling 12.6 miles) so it's not that bad. According to Google maps, it would take me around 35 minutes to get to work. I would plan to do weekend rides with my brother and friends, and maybe a bit for fitness.

My budget is flexible, but the more cost-effective/cheaper the better (I will ballpark around ~$1,200 max). I have some bikes in mind, but I'd like your guys' opinions first.

I don't know a whole lot about frame material, but I've heard that steel's springiness makes riding less rough? But I think nowadays aluminum frames preform just as well since it's the most sold type of frame in the market.

Things I prefer (if possible):
  • ChroMo steel frame - Mounts for rear racks (I JUST bought a rear rack for my current bike. I would need it to carry my stuff to work--only preferred but not 1000% necessary)
  • Shimano 105 components (?) (I just read that these are the best kind on a budget) or Sora? I'm not sure in terms of quality.
  • Drop handle bars (I don't like flat bars as much)
  • Room for "larger" tires (I would say maybe up to 28c - 32c max)
  • Color preferably neutral (black, white, blue is okay too)
  • Ability to use clipless pedals (this is something I really want to try)

I am planning to stop by a LBS to test ride some bikes, hoping I don't get pressure to buy right away. I need some time to decide.

Here are some bikes I've been looking at (some have lower-end components only because I don't know how to look for a bike LOL):

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...A2RCT8MB1RT96V

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

I appreciate your time and help!
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Old 10-04-17, 11:24 PM
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Hello,
i'm not a woman but i am a commuter and i enjoy riding my bike as do many people here. i hope you find my insight useful.
let me get rid of a few things first so that you dont have to worry about those.
you can put clipless pedals on almost any bike - this is a very small concern.
color is subjective and more often than not, those colors you mentioned are widely available.

the most important thing i can recommend is to find a good bike shop and here's why - if something breaks, if something doesn't feel/fit right, if you want/need something else - they will help you. at least until you are comfortable enough to try and purchase or learn to do these things yourself.

as it pertains to steel - i've never owned a steel bike and have only ridden one briefly. it feels marginally smoother but that's completely subjective and varies (i hope) with the amount of money you're willing to spend on a frame and attached components. i have two aluminum bikes and they feel great. i've heard many things but i can't speak to them much myself.

Budget. i purhcased a GT Grade aluminum bike for a few reasons. aluminum made it cheaper than carbon. it had a lower level groupset which is shimano sora (the version before the shifter cables ran under the bar tape), it had sub-par but acceptable brakes and pretty cheap tires and wheels. all in it cost me 800. i purchased the bike with the hopes that i would be able to ride it in all weather throughout the year in new england as it came from the bike shop. i was wrong. i bought the bike from this place because i liked the frame and it ticked the boxes of wants but i didn't like the shop or the people there. it happened to be on sale and even though they were offering me a heavier discount on a more expensive version of the same thing - i thought i was getting one over on them by buying the minimum of what i need versus what i should have purchased.

i made of list of things that i wanted that helped me immensely when purchasing this bike.
i wanted rack mounts - i liked the option of having them already versus having to use P-clamps or attaching the rack to the quick release skewer as is the case with Axiom Racks. i'd hate to get a flat and have to remove the rack and the QR Skewer only to get my wheel out.

I wanted a frame that had wide clearance for bigger tires. i'm a fat guy. at 255 pounds i wanted to be able to at least fit 32's and this frame will fit up to 35's i guess so i'm good there. you can't squeeze bigger tires into a frame that can't fit them. make sure you decide how big of a tire you want and get a frame that can fit bigger especially if you decide you might want fenders.

On the subject of fenders if you want them read on. if not, skip to the next paragraph. i tried fenders that weren't permanent like the crud Road Racer Mk2 and the SKS Raceblades - both were ok, but i wanted more permanent coverage. i knew going in i'd want the fenders so i made sure that the frame had at least one eyelet on the rear and then the eyelets on the fork for this. this has been one of my better decisions reference this frame.

Components. I love the 105 on my other bike. the shifts are always crisp and fast. on this bike that i bought on a budget with a lesser group on purpose, i regretted it for a super long time. if you research, there are dozens of posts of me complaining about the Shimano Sora that this bike came with. i hated it because i could never get the front derailleur to hold an adjustment for more than a week. sometimes it would shift, sometimes it wouldn't, most of the time it would rub. and it made this awful clunking sound when going from the big ring to the little one. also, i ride at night and i have a handlebar mounted headlight that would shine some of its light onto the shifter cables that were exposed and it would reflect some of that light back into my eyes and it actually pissed me off. so i ordered a set of new shimano R3000 shifters which run the shifter cables under the bar tape. i did this for aesthetics and to eliminate the light reflecting off the shifter housing. it cost me $150.00 to discover that the cable to my derailleur was installed incorrectly and this was the cause of my crappy front derailleur shifting. i installed the new shifters anyway but had i not trusted in the way the bike shop set up the bike, i might have avoided all the frustration.

my brakes were not great. they stopped sure, but it was like they weren't in a hurry to help me out. it was certainly one of the weaker points to my bike. no matter what i did, including replacing the pads and bedding them in and changing the housing, it didn't do much in the way of improving the situation. so i upgraded my disc brakes from the standard ones to TRP Spyre SLC's. i forget the cost but lets assume its like $100 for both. during the install of the new brakes, it was discovered that the bike shop had used two different types of brake housing and added some electric tape in a clever location to create a joint where the housings met. no wonder my brakes sucked... new housing and cables for the new shifters and to replace the hack job on my brakes - $60 bucks.

finally, the tires on my bike were crap. they were super squishy no matter how many times i pumped them up to their limit. again, i know i'm heavy but these 30mm tires didn't inspire confidence like the stock 25mm tires did on my other bike. i've never had a problem with the 25mm tires - surely these tires should be at least as good. they werent. i upgraded my tires at a cost of $110 to have continental GP 4seasons in a 32mm which have been phenomenal tires. no flats yet, they grip great in the wet and were awesome during an impromptu ride over an entire block and a half of cobblestones.

so far i've paid something in excess of $1200. this doesn't include any of the smaller things like broken spokes, a mishap with a derailleur hanger not being tight, the bar tape coming undone. i feel like if i had just spent the $1,200 on a better bike from a better place i'd be so much further ahead. but this is what happens when you start to ride. you go down a rabbit hole of looking for ways to make life easier on a bike so that you can enjoy yourself more.

the lesson here is find a bike shop that you like. go in there with a list of things that you'll need and want for the type of riding you'll plan on doing. make sure you check off all of the mandatory things like ensuring said new bike has the correct tire clearance and then go with the things that you want like drop bars, nicer components, the color you want. then, if you still have cash left over, get yourself some clipless pedals and maybe even some new shoes and go ride that thing to your hearts content.

i know this was long, but if you've gotten this far i hope that you've learned from my experience as a commuter/ i hope it helps.
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Old 10-07-17, 12:06 AM
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Originally Posted by srestrepo
Hello,
i'm not a woman but i am a commuter and i enjoy riding my bike as do many people here. i hope you find my insight useful.
let me get rid of a few things first so that you dont have to worry about those.
you can put clipless pedals on almost any bike - this is a very small concern.
color is subjective and more often than not, those colors you mentioned are widely available.

the most important thing i can recommend is to find a good bike shop and here's why - if something breaks, if something doesn't feel/fit right, if you want/need something else - they will help you. at least until you are comfortable enough to try and purchase or learn to do these things yourself.

as it pertains to steel - i've never owned a steel bike and have only ridden one briefly. it feels marginally smoother but that's completely subjective and varies (i hope) with the amount of money you're willing to spend on a frame and attached components. i have two aluminum bikes and they feel great. i've heard many things but i can't speak to them much myself.

Budget. i purhcased a GT Grade aluminum bike for a few reasons. aluminum made it cheaper than carbon. it had a lower level groupset which is shimano sora (the version before the shifter cables ran under the bar tape), it had sub-par but acceptable brakes and pretty cheap tires and wheels. all in it cost me 800. i purchased the bike with the hopes that i would be able to ride it in all weather throughout the year in new england as it came from the bike shop. i was wrong. i bought the bike from this place because i liked the frame and it ticked the boxes of wants but i didn't like the shop or the people there. it happened to be on sale and even though they were offering me a heavier discount on a more expensive version of the same thing - i thought i was getting one over on them by buying the minimum of what i need versus what i should have purchased.

i made of list of things that i wanted that helped me immensely when purchasing this bike.
i wanted rack mounts - i liked the option of having them already versus having to use P-clamps or attaching the rack to the quick release skewer as is the case with Axiom Racks. i'd hate to get a flat and have to remove the rack and the QR Skewer only to get my wheel out.

I wanted a frame that had wide clearance for bigger tires. i'm a fat guy. at 255 pounds i wanted to be able to at least fit 32's and this frame will fit up to 35's i guess so i'm good there. you can't squeeze bigger tires into a frame that can't fit them. make sure you decide how big of a tire you want and get a frame that can fit bigger especially if you decide you might want fenders.

On the subject of fenders if you want them read on. if not, skip to the next paragraph. i tried fenders that weren't permanent like the crud Road Racer Mk2 and the SKS Raceblades - both were ok, but i wanted more permanent coverage. i knew going in i'd want the fenders so i made sure that the frame had at least one eyelet on the rear and then the eyelets on the fork for this. this has been one of my better decisions reference this frame.

Components. I love the 105 on my other bike. the shifts are always crisp and fast. on this bike that i bought on a budget with a lesser group on purpose, i regretted it for a super long time. if you research, there are dozens of posts of me complaining about the Shimano Sora that this bike came with. i hated it because i could never get the front derailleur to hold an adjustment for more than a week. sometimes it would shift, sometimes it wouldn't, most of the time it would rub. and it made this awful clunking sound when going from the big ring to the little one. also, i ride at night and i have a handlebar mounted headlight that would shine some of its light onto the shifter cables that were exposed and it would reflect some of that light back into my eyes and it actually pissed me off. so i ordered a set of new shimano R3000 shifters which run the shifter cables under the bar tape. i did this for aesthetics and to eliminate the light reflecting off the shifter housing. it cost me $150.00 to discover that the cable to my derailleur was installed incorrectly and this was the cause of my crappy front derailleur shifting. i installed the new shifters anyway but had i not trusted in the way the bike shop set up the bike, i might have avoided all the frustration.

my brakes were not great. they stopped sure, but it was like they weren't in a hurry to help me out. it was certainly one of the weaker points to my bike. no matter what i did, including replacing the pads and bedding them in and changing the housing, it didn't do much in the way of improving the situation. so i upgraded my disc brakes from the standard ones to TRP Spyre SLC's. i forget the cost but lets assume its like $100 for both. during the install of the new brakes, it was discovered that the bike shop had used two different types of brake housing and added some electric tape in a clever location to create a joint where the housings met. no wonder my brakes sucked... new housing and cables for the new shifters and to replace the hack job on my brakes - $60 bucks.

finally, the tires on my bike were crap. they were super squishy no matter how many times i pumped them up to their limit. again, i know i'm heavy but these 30mm tires didn't inspire confidence like the stock 25mm tires did on my other bike. i've never had a problem with the 25mm tires - surely these tires should be at least as good. they werent. i upgraded my tires at a cost of $110 to have continental GP 4seasons in a 32mm which have been phenomenal tires. no flats yet, they grip great in the wet and were awesome during an impromptu ride over an entire block and a half of cobblestones.

so far i've paid something in excess of $1200. this doesn't include any of the smaller things like broken spokes, a mishap with a derailleur hanger not being tight, the bar tape coming undone. i feel like if i had just spent the $1,200 on a better bike from a better place i'd be so much further ahead. but this is what happens when you start to ride. you go down a rabbit hole of looking for ways to make life easier on a bike so that you can enjoy yourself more.

the lesson here is find a bike shop that you like. go in there with a list of things that you'll need and want for the type of riding you'll plan on doing. make sure you check off all of the mandatory things like ensuring said new bike has the correct tire clearance and then go with the things that you want like drop bars, nicer components, the color you want. then, if you still have cash left over, get yourself some clipless pedals and maybe even some new shoes and go ride that thing to your hearts content.

i know this was long, but if you've gotten this far i hope that you've learned from my experience as a commuter/ i hope it helps.
Hello friend!

Thank you ever so much for your long post. You don't know how appreciative I am of it, it's given me so much insight in terms of what to consider when it comes to buying a first bike for myself. I am sorry you had to go through that experience with your first bike though!! That sounds terrible! Especially with the blinding cables and shelling out more cash than you intended to.

I've heard that Sora is OK... But wow that really sucks that it was installed incorrectly! That is really unbelievable, you deserve to not have to experience that again.

But I am glad that you've learned from it and are passing insight to people like me that are just getting into the hobby more seriously. I really want to start to commute to work, and just commute and ride my bike more in general!

Your experience and detailed stories have truly aided me in making the smarter decision when it comes to buying a bike. I will be taking everything you said into great consideration! I will most definitely make sure that I try to buy it from a shop, with nice folks there. It is hard to come by, some of the bike shop people are a bit snobby, but I've met a handful of nice people.

Hopefully soon I can find the perfect commuter bike for myself, so I can get places comfortably and FAST!

Cheers!!
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Old 10-07-17, 01:26 AM
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From what I hear, Modern Sora--the latest iteration--is quite good. Earlier ... I can attest to the front derailleur issues even when installed correctly. From experience I can say Tiagra is good, 105 is great. But Any of the modern Shimano groups are good, and Sora (9-speed) on up are fine for anyone except hard-core racers and people who need to brag.

For you, specifically, what [MENTION=379859]srestrepo[/MENTION] says about bike shops is right on. You do not apparently want to do all your own repairs, tune-ups, tweakings ... and for a commuter, who depends on the bike, and also rides daily, you need to know you can take the bike somewhere and get it looked after by people who care.

Originally Posted by flyingbuttons
I will most definitely make sure that I try to buy it from a shop, with nice folks there. It is hard to come by, some of the bike shop people are a bit snobby, but I've met a handful of nice people.
if the folks at the shop are not super nice, run away.

The bike world is full of snobby and even snotty people. A lot of them think that only if you ride the same brand of bike in the same way they do, are you a “real” cyclist, and everyone else will get short shrift.

If you don’t train hard, or ride fast groups, or ride mountain bikes, or race locally, or whatever ... they will look down on you. And if they will look down on you when they also want your money for a new bike, imagine how they will treat you when you want them to do a repair, and you kind of need it done soon because you need your bike to get to work.

“Sorry, but all these guys have a race coming up next week and they need to do their training, so I will have to move you to the back of the list---even though you need your bike Tomorrow, to make a living, and maybe it is a 30-minute fix.”

In my experience, steel bikes tend to be heavy or expensive. Any modern aluminum frame with a CF fork will ride nicely---and 28 mm tires and it will be positively plush (and I am about srestrepo's size.) I have one steel bike and a pair of AL/CF-fork bikes in the stable right now. If I thought steel would be a big improvement I would say so (I am not on anyone's advertising payroll, so I can afford to be honest. )

When I bought my last bike, as an all-around commuter/grocery-getter/light tourer with the potential for gravel riding, I looked at a lot of bikes you might like. I didn't get the GT Grade only because I got a super deal on a Fuji Sportif, but I looked at the Grade and the DiamondBack Haanjo/Haanja and a bunch of others.

If you can find a good shop nearby, they will only carry certain bikes ... but as a rule, at any given price point all the brands are about the same. Also, they will probably have to order if you need an exceptionally small size.

If you find a good shop and do everything you can and still they cannot get you the bike you want ... ask them if they would assemble and maintain a mail-order bike if you bought one. if the shop is really that good, they will appreciate the business and will realize that they will have you as a lifetime customer ... and that you would probably buy your accessories there, and would shop their first for your next bike.

The Terry Tailwind looks interesting ... find out what kind of tire clearance it has, though. Also, I see an eyelet on the chain stay but no dedicated rack mounts. No fender eyelet on the front.

The two Raleighs are quite heavy, also. You can probably get a Dawes Lightning or a Dawes Sheila for $500-$600 from BikesDirect which would weigh five to eight pounds less. (Assuming you were going to order online and have the bikes shipped.) Weight only matters a little ... but I found I added about five pounds of gear (rack, head- and tail lights, seat bag with some tools, spare tubes, etc., two bottle cages, pump and pump holder, a couple of bungees) and if running errands I bring a couple pounds of lock and chain.

Particularly if you are physically small, lugging around 35 lbs of bike (not riding it---moving it once you get where you’re going) can be a pain. I hope you don’t have to carry it up any stairs ....

My Fuji Sportif weighs about 27.5 ready to roll (23-lb showroom weight.) if you are looking at bike listed at 30 pounds ....

So basically, your priorities are: a shop with people who are nice to you before they know what you want, and equally nice after; Al or steel frame, steel or CF fork, rack mounts, maybe fender mounts.

For the money you are willing to spend you have a Wealth of great options. Refuse to compromise. Any shop which won’t work hard to find you a bike you Love, not just can tolerate, isn’t trying hard enough.

Sorry, I am rambling ... it is 3:30 a.m. and I need to rest.

Please keep us posted.
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Old 10-07-17, 04:01 AM
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$1,200 should get you a Tiagra based bike, which is like a heavier 10 speed version of 105.

I'd visit a few bikes shops, and then narrow down bike choices by which LBS you like, function (can put the rack on it), and color.
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Old 11-02-17, 02:16 PM
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hey [MENTION=462607]flyingbuttons[/MENTION], how did you end up making out with your bike? i dont know if you've posted elsewhere but i'm curious to see how things played out for you.

hope all is well!
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Old 11-02-17, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
The bike world is full of snobby and even snotty people. A lot of them think that only if you ride the same brand of bike in the same way they do, are you a “real” cyclist, and everyone else will get short shrift.

If you don’t train hard, or ride fast groups, or ride mountain bikes, or race locally, or whatever ... they will look down on you. And if they will look down on you when they also want your money for a new bike, imagine how they will treat you when you want them to do a repair, and you kind of need it done soon because you need your bike to get to work.

“Sorry, but all these guys have a race coming up next week and they need to do their training, so I will have to move you to the back of the list---even though you need your bike Tomorrow, to make a living, and maybe it is a 30-minute fix.”

Originally Posted by Maelochs
The bike world is full of snobby and even snotty people. A lot of them think that only if you ride the same brand of bike in the same way they do, are you a “real” cyclist, and everyone else will get short shrift.

If you don’t train hard, or ride fast groups, or ride mountain bikes, or race locally, or whatever ... they will look down on you. And if they will look down on you when they also want your money for a new bike, imagine how they will treat you when you want them to do a repair, and you kind of need it done soon because you need your bike to get to work.

“Sorry, but all these guys have a race coming up next week and they need to do their training, so I will have to move you to the back of the list---even though you need your bike Tomorrow, to make a living, and maybe it is a 30-minute fix.”

I've never had a negative comment from anyone and I ride a $600 road bike I bought at REI. When I showed up to a race with that and 28mm gravel tires, nobody said a thing. In fact every one was supportive. Said good to race with you and seeya next time.


I've ridden on numerous groups rides with local groups and LBS sponsored group rides...again nobody said anything about my bike. Nobody commented about my clothes, socks, shoes, computer, phone, nothing. Just warm smiles at people doing things they enjoy.


Now, could they have been saying things behind my back? Sure, but I doubt it...I'm good at reading people in person and I've never felt less than because I didn't have the right bike. I agree with you on the LBS front, don't go anywhere they look down on you for what kind of bike you ride. Who is that stupid. I mean you're in the store to potentially buy a bike they carry, why would they judge you because you want the LadyBike 3000 in blue and not because you want the RealCyclist 4000 in red?


Find a good shop, tell 'em what you want. If they can't help you go somewhere else.


Good luck!

Last edited by aplcr0331; 11-02-17 at 02:28 PM.
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Old 11-02-17, 02:40 PM
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Where in So Cal are you located? Sometimes you can get good deals on Craigslist. Found this (not CroMoly, aluminum, but nice). . . .

https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sg...362036256.html

Last edited by Scarbo; 11-02-17 at 02:49 PM.
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Old 11-02-17, 04:07 PM
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I know this is a month old but . . .

If you go to raleighusa.com, you can register for a corporate account and get much lower prices. That Revere bike is just $405. Of course, it's not steel, but it's a great versatile bike (if it fits you). They'll ship to a local shop who could assemble it for you. Or, if they don't have a local dealer, you could take it in yourself and have it put together for not too much. Alternately, that Revere 1 is about $350 on eBay if you're comfortable with that: https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2017-Ra...0-2wfmIdZbyaIg

If you want the 105 group, the Revere 3 has that still well within your price range: https://www.ebay.com/itm/New-2017-Ra...xH7j_2aH7ere6Q
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Old 11-03-17, 12:45 PM
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https://www.rei.com/product/108599/c...mens-bike-2017
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Old 01-02-18, 10:32 PM
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Update!

Originally Posted by srestrepo
hey [MENTION=462607]flyingbuttons[/MENTION], how did you end up making out with your bike? i dont know if you've posted elsewhere but i'm curious to see how things played out for you.

hope all is well!

Oh my gah I forgot to update this thread!!! So sorry, I got busy with work and things. But just to update everyone who's still interested, I ended up going with a sized 47cm Fuji Finest 2.0 LE from Performance Bike around October 8th. (idk if you guys can view it, Performance's website is so buggy sometimes) I paid around $850 (I'm kinda bummed because the price knocked down to $750 last month but it's because they're probably gonna roll out new models for this and next year).

I got a basic but free fit at a Trek store nearby (the dude was super distracted while doing it but he got the basics down) and I was sized for their 50cm frame. However, after looking at geometry charts, the Fuji's 47cm fit about the same.

It is quite light, has some rear rack mounts, and it fits me pretty well so far. I can stand over it JUST ENOUGH so it's not -crushing- my lady-parts.

I had been looking at a Trek bike as well as the Fuji, but I preferred the Fuji's group set and handlebar style (Sora vs Tiagra, just being one above). The Trek's bars were too curved for me.

I was having some elbow problems starting off, so I went to Performance the other day and had one of their fitters get me on a trainer to do a basic fit. He raised my seat and leveled my handlebars. He mentioned that we can make a lot of other micro adjustments to the handlebars if needed, but mainly raised my saddle height and rotated my bars so that my wrists were straighter. After their adjustments though I still have occasional pain--however not as bad because I've been riding a bit more often.

I have to say, I do enjoy the bike so far, and Performance has been patient with my needs. I have since put only less than 100 miles on the bike because of not being able to ride as much--it's hard to get myself up early enough to ride to work without crashing... I'm trying to adjust what I eat and stuff, that will come with time.

The bike goes fast (for a beginner like me!), it was under my budget too. HOWEVER, if I were to REALLY put more time into looking for a bike, I may have just gotten a CX bike for its off-road abilities and larger tires. But, to be honest, the bike I bought is doing just the job for me (short commutes, riding to work, weekend rides, etc.)

I'm having trouble climbing bc of my lack of physical ability (LOL) but so far I am enjoying my first entry-level road bike. I bought some clipless pedals about two months ago? (Shimano M520s) and some MTB shoes--it's made a big difference for me. Toe clips and straps weren't doing it for me after a few spills during traffic LOL.

Learning to ride clipless is definitely a challenge but it is definitely a lot better in terms of my performance. When I first started, I rode in the grass and had my boyfriend pretend he was a traffic light. I took a hard fall (got bruised on my buttcheek) because I could not get my foot out for the life of me. I ended up getting Shimano SH-56 multi release cleats and they've made all the positive difference. I may increase the tension on my pedals soon now that I'm getting more used to it.

Any feedback is welcome in terms of my elbow pain, but otherwise, I'm having lots of fun with the bike. Everyone loves the color. It has fender mounts I think and room for a rack if I ever put one on... But it might look kinda dumb. The only thing that sucks is that it only has one water bottle mount... But I have a bladder bag just in case.

Cheers!
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Old 01-03-18, 09:43 AM
  #12  
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Great report and Super photo .... really nice camera work.

I hurt my elbow by overworking and hyperextending it after breaking the opposite shoulder---I didn't have the bike set up for a one-armed man, so I had too much weight on my hands. You might have done some minor bruising inside the elbow which never gets to fully heal because it is aggravated on each ride, even thought he bike fits now.

Also, when our legs and core get tried we tend to put more weight on the hands, and sometimes lock out or elbows or just ask them to carry too much weight, given the constant high-frequency shocks riding transmits.

If I were you I would make sure I was not using one arm more than the other, and also (particularly later in rides) make sure you were using good posture, even if it hurts your thighs and lower back. Muscles can grow more easily than joints can heal.

All in all I'd imagine the elbow issue will resolve itself anyway.

I bought a Fuji Sportif not so long ago, has a lot of the same parts. I think you got a great deal. Tiagra 4700, Al frame, CF fork ..... and rack mounts. I might have bought that bike instead of the Sportif if it had been on sale at the time.
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Old 01-03-18, 12:01 PM
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That's a fantastic deal, the Tiagra groupset is very nice these days. I hope it brings you many miles of smiles.
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Old 01-03-18, 07:17 PM
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Glad the bike is doing well. Any particular reason you liked the Domane AL3 over the AL2 when you were looking at Treks? I am looking at both of those, hopeful to get a road bike this March.
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Old 01-03-18, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Maelochs
Great report and Super photo .... really nice camera work.

I hurt my elbow by overworking and hyperextending it after breaking the opposite shoulder---I didn't have the bike set up for a one-armed man, so I had too much weight on my hands. You might have done some minor bruising inside the elbow which never gets to fully heal because it is aggravated on each ride, even thought he bike fits now.

Also, when our legs and core get tried we tend to put more weight on the hands, and sometimes lock out or elbows or just ask them to carry too much weight, given the constant high-frequency shocks riding transmits.

If I were you I would make sure I was not using one arm more than the other, and also (particularly later in rides) make sure you were using good posture, even if it hurts your thighs and lower back. Muscles can grow more easily than joints can heal.

All in all I'd imagine the elbow issue will resolve itself anyway.

I bought a Fuji Sportif not so long ago, has a lot of the same parts. I think you got a great deal. Tiagra 4700, Al frame, CF fork ..... and rack mounts. I might have bought that bike instead of the Sportif if it had been on sale at the time.
Thank you friend! iPhones work wonders nowadays. I think it's still a bit dark but eh!

Yeah I noticed that my core gives in too soon.. I need to work on that, maybe I will pick up yoga I feel like my body just isn't super used to this new posture yet, I have never had a bike that fit me properly. I try to be mindful of bending my elbows too, I notice that I lock them unintentionally, and bring on the road vibrations to my arms. I don't think I've had any elbow injuries, but I am plopped in an office hours on end for my job. Maybe that has to do with it too.

I also finally got around to reading your post (sorry it's so late), but I do live in an upstairs condo LOL so it's been a pain to get my bike up still even with it weighing I'd say less than 30 pounds.

Performance is kind of a "chain" but they have free lifetime adjustments... No complaints there. I will say though, since the shops are dominated by guys (nothing against this at all), some of them are kind of stuck up as we know. There are three Performance shops in my area and I've had too similar service at each one. Sometimes I kind of hesitate to go in even for a minor adjustment but whatever! I go in anyway because that's what I paid for. *grumble*

If you don’t train hard, or ride fast groups, or ride mountain bikes, or race locally, or whatever ... they will look down on you. And if they will look down on you when they also want your money for a new bike, imagine how they will treat you when you want them to do a repair, and you kind of need it done soon because you need your bike to get to work.
This is sadly spot on. They basically see me as someone who doesn't know a lick about bikes. When I go in there, I know exactly what's wrong, I just don't know how to fix or adjust it, or I don't have those tools at home. They make me feel stupid because they look down on me lmao. I'm praying that my bike doesn't need a major repair for that reason. Luckily there are some shops in my area that are locally-owned that seem to be a lot more down-to-earth. I know basic pre-ride checks--haven't gotten a flat YET either.

If you find a good shop and do everything you can and still they cannot get you the bike you want ... ask them if they would assemble and maintain a mail-order bike if you bought one. if the shop is really that good, they will appreciate the business and will realize that they will have you as a lifetime customer ... and that you would probably buy your accessories there, and would shop their first for your next bike.
I wished I took more time in adventuring in more shops to be honest, for this reason. The customer service at Performance wasn't super good, young dudes were there and ended up being my cashier when I got my bike. They seemed pretty uninterested the whole time, it kind of sucked. I cringe before I go inside sometimes still because I had to go back several times for small adjustments. One mechanic knows my name now... He says it in a way where I can't tell if he's being genuinely funny or mocking me.

The two Raleighs are quite heavy, also. You can probably get a Dawes Lightning or a Dawes Sheila for $500-$600 from BikesDirect which would weigh five to eight pounds less. (Assuming you were going to order online and have the bikes shipped.) Weight only matters a little ... but I found I added about five pounds of gear (rack, head- and tail lights, seat bag with some tools, spare tubes, etc., two bottle cages, pump and pump holder, a couple of bungees) and if running errands I bring a couple pounds of lock and chain.
Your post is so insightful, I wished I went back to my thread before rushing to buy my bike sometimes. I bought a beefy Kryptonite New York lock for my bike, it's super heavy but I feel secure using it. I was thinking about getting a BikesDirect bike to be honest but something about them put me off. I guess it's because I bought a road bike from there when I was in college a few years ago (it's mad heavy and doesn't even have a rack on it), and I didn't really take it to a shop for a once-over. I still actually have it, but as a college student, I abused it and never cleaned/lubed the chain. The cassette and front teeth are basically shark teeth LOL. So since then, I kind of steered clear of BikesDirect bikes. Ironically, I scored a Kilo TT from someone the other day for only 100 bucks. I thought having a SS bike around would be fun hehe (relevant post here).

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Old 01-03-18, 10:24 PM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by beermode
That's a fantastic deal, the Tiagra groupset is very nice these days. I hope it brings you many miles of smiles.
Thank you thank you! Indeed it was. I was just looking at lots of bikes online and stumbled across that Fuji. The color sucked me in!

But after seeing what it had to offer, especially the groupset, I just went for it. I thought disc brakes would be a cool change too.

So far, so good!
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Old 01-03-18, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by voyager1
Glad the bike is doing well. Any particular reason you liked the Domane AL3 over the AL2 when you were looking at Treks? I am looking at both of those, hopeful to get a road bike this March.
Two reasons: The groupset and the color, for me at least.

I liked the color options for the AL3 better, and it had one groupset above the AL2 (Sora vs Claris). But if that doesn't matter too much to you, and you're on a tighter budget, Claris should be fine for your needs.

The Domane model for Trek is really great. I like that it has fender and track mounts, and also wider tire clearance! I just didn't like the handlebars on the women's model, they were just too curved for my liking. Otherwise, the bike was quite pretty and nice to ride.

Trek's basic fitting was also great, especially because it was free!

I don't think you could go wrong with either one. I hope this helps!
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Old 01-04-18, 02:58 PM
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Congrats on the bike! Get out there and ride it!

Regarding the single bottle mount issue, you might enjoy a behind-the-seat bottle mount. A buddy of mine uses a double one that puts two bottles of water (and some CO2) out behind his seat.

example: Aqua Rack ii
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Old 01-04-18, 10:10 PM
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I had a Specialized Allez Sport as a first road bike (950$) served me well!
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